Friday 30 May 2008

Thurs 29th May

As forecast yesterday, the Shelduck took their young from the nest this morning, so it has been a long day for us. Margaret was up at 3.30 am to check if the male bird was still guarding the entrance to the nest, which he had been faithfully for at least 14 hrs. Finally at around, 5.30 am, the female emerged with her brood of 7 or 8 ducklings, the exact number we were not sure of, as they were always in a very tight group, proving difficult to get an exact number as it is not easy to use the scope and try to get images at the same time! The whole family group were soon on their way, and this year reverted back to their usual route of turning left on emerging from the nest and heading out towards water. For those who remember, last year on Springwatch, they turned right and went overland to Loch Gorm and wrong footed us all! This year, in just under half an hour they were heading down towards the dunes and the sea at Machir Bay about 3/4 of a mile. No mean feat for youngsters, so young! MAB
Another visiting birder got in touch to say that he had seen the Osprey over Loch Gorm, just as I had thought that it had flown off somewhere else! There was also the the sighting of young Chough emerging from their nest for the first time today. Over in the verge at the side of the road at Coull this afternoon, I saw my first hen Pheasant out with her brood of 10 young. Meanwhile, James had 24 Arctic Tern, 4 Little Tern and a Manx Shearwater up at Ardnave, as well as an Eider out with her brood. Back on the RSPB Loch Gruinart reserve, Michael had a Spotted Flycatcher, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler and a Whitethroat all calling, while we were on the usual Thursday guided walk. Corncrake were also heard, and one was seen from the Visitor Centre on our return there. James contacted me this evening to say that he had seen Short-eared Owl on the reserve earlier on in the day. JRH
Overall it has been a busy day, with a lot of different birds emerging with their young, and the day is not over as tonight/ early Friday morning is the first count of the year for the Corncrake survey!

No comments: